Sunday, February 04, 2007

Obsessive Grip Changes

I must be going nuts lately. I bought this 3" Colt Detective Special a couple of months ago and it came with Pachmayr Compac grips. Now, those were UGLY on this gun and they had put me off buying this particular gun for quite a while. However, it locks up tighter than a tick on a fat dog and I knew it would be a good gun so I took it home.

I immediately began to look for better grips and found a pair of Herrett's Ace grips but the fellow sent me Shooting Stars which had never been fit to a gun instead. Then another fellow gave me the grips shown in the second photo. These are apparently the late DS grips and they fit well and so that is what I used. Meanwhile I tried to get a pair of Ajax grips but the fit of those was so horrendous and they were so thin that I returned them. All that is documented elsewhere.

Still, although I was carrying the DS almost everyday, I didn't like the grips. Oh, they worked well enough but they didn't give the appearance or feel that I was really looking for.

So, one day I was looking through the Sportsmans Guide (just before throwing it away) and saw an ad for DS grips. Only $20 but used grips. Knowing "the guide" but feeling desperate I placed my order and was surprised and pleased to find the grips in the mail just 5 days later. Even better was that they fit my gun. Unfortunately, no grip screw. So, back on line I went to Gun Parts Corp. for a grip screw. I noted that different screws were listed for the various models including the Agent, Cobra, Detective Special and Police Positive Special. I ordered the two different screws feeling that one had to fit. One did but I'll be darned if I know which it is! So now I could attach the grips as shown but I also needed a Tyler-T Grip Adapter for the DS to get the feel that I wanted.

To get the setup I wanted shown to the left, I needed the Tyler-T. As I've also documented, getting one direct from Tyler is possible but can take quite a long time. This is a surprisingly small business and they fill orders as received with little if any stock on hand. So, I went to D&J Gun Repair of Sterling, VA for a Colt DS Tyler-T grip adapter (#5) but they didn't have a black anodized one on hand so I got a polished one. Paid by PayPal (yeah, anti-gun PayPal) I received my Tyler-T in two days! Now that's service! The result is what you see to the left. Oh my, but does it feel better in my hand. Ok, so the grip adapter shines like the capitol dome but it feels good. As I type this it is resting on my side in the Simply Rugged Silver Dollar with Inside-Out straps. In my pocket I have a HKS speedloader (as shown), and the gun and speedloader are filled with Winchester's version of the FBI load. Quite a confidence builder as I sit alone in the store.

However, these grips (stocks is actually the correct term) need some work. If you clicked on the photo to see the larger version, you might notice that the checkering is well worn and if you look at the front bottom corner you might see that the right panel of the stocks doesn't match the left. What you don't see is that the right stock has "69" painted in white. Worn, the number is readily visible and was probably a rack number for whatever gun the stock panel originally graced. What apparently happened is that Sportsmans Guide got a lot of stocks in and makes up pairs as they go along. Not to worry, these are minor glitches to be expected with used stocks and they are still a better fit to gun and each other than the new Ajax grips!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to many years of companionship from this friend. Now all I have to do is to refinish (rechecker?) the grips and everything will be A-OK. Or maybe I'll look for a pair of like new grips on eBay...

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